ESPN’s Chad Ford addressed the big problem in Philly on Thursday. Literally, the 76ers have a “big” problem, what with the logjam at center now that Joel Embiid is poised to make his NBA debut next season. Either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil OKafor has got to go.
Here’s what he told 97.3 ESPN…
I think that there’s a very high likelihood, that whether it’s to move up in the draft or use them to grab a free agent in a sign and trade or just to a trade, that you will not see the Nerlens Noel-Jahlil Okafor pairing at the start of next season. I think that they’ll gauge the interest of both players. I think that there might be a slight preference for Noel, to keep him around with the Sixers, and I think you might be right, there might be a slight, better value for Okafor out on the market, but I think everyone agrees that that combination of those two players doesn’t necessarily work.
The Sixers needs to pick up assets, especially if they’re gonna go ahead and do a Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram with the first pick in the draft. Then they’re gonna need those assets to start to fill out their backcourt, because the 24th pick and [the 26th pick], you’re not finding starters. I’m not even sure that you’re necessarily finding rotation players at that back end of the draft that are gonna make big impact, so they’re gonna have to do that via free agency or via trade, and I think either Okafor or Noel — I don’t think they’ll trade both — but one of those two is probably their best trade chip.
Obviously, Okafor’s value is higher than Noel’s — albeit not by all that much — so speculating on which teams would be interested in trading for his services is more fun. So, without further ado, below are our three favorite Jahlil Okafor trade scenarios. Feel free to add your own in the comments section at the bottom of the page.